Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Happy St Patrick's Day to you all, my Irish darlings. (Everyone is Irish on St Patrick's Day.) My grandmother was brought up in the wild west of County Mayo, and then later outside Dublin. She remembered being woken in the night, as a very small child, and taken to the window to see the city burn during the Easter Rising of 1916. When she grew up, she lived in Wicklow, under the shadow of a mountain called The Fancy, at the edge of a black loch. My father grew up there too, and even though he came to England to live and work, he carried a fondness for Guinness (which he regards as a health aid, rather than an alcohol drink), horses, and any number of Irish songs. He was once thrown out of a grand restaurant in Mayfair for singing a rebel song called The Outlaw Raparee ('I'm England's foe, I'm Ireland's friend, went the lilting lyric) during the early 1970s, when the British were understandably a bit sensitive about things like that.
In honour of St Patrick, and my roots, I have started the day with an Ulster fry, shall spend the afternoon betting on the ponies, quite possibly will listen to my old Clancy Brothers records, and may easily lift a glass of Guinness to the auld country.
So, picture of the day is of my splendid breakfast, with all food groups represented, including The Racing Post:
And a couple of bonus shots of my ladies celebrating the coming of spring with an especially big stick:
(See how sad the poor grass is after being covered in snow for the last four weeks?)
Isn't it amazing that one old stick can provide so much utter bliss?
And now I must go and study the runners and riders for the second day of Cheltenham. What can I tell you? It's the greatest racing festival on earth.